An Approach to Ethics_UCET

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An Approach to Ethics
Introducing an Ethical Grid
Kris Stutchbury
[email protected]
Activity

Read the account of a science teacher’s
MEd project
Identify the main ethical issues

How did you approach the issue?

What does the literature say?

Ethics can be a difficult issue

Ethical issues will emerge over time
Lists of principles and guidelines are not
enough
BUT……….
 Lack of coherence
 How can you be sure you have thought of
everything?
 Institutional requirements can be onerous

Seedhouse’s Ethical Grid

Provides a way of thinking about a situation
that is structured, coherent and recoverable.

Based on Moral Theory

Consists of layers

Designed to be used in Healthcare – but has
potential as a tool to be used beyond that.
External Considerations
Consequential Layer
Duties + Motives
Individuals
An alternative view of the grid…………….
Core
Rationale
Deontological
layer
Consequential
layer
External
Considerations
External Considerations






Codes of practice
Risks
The law
Use of resources
Effectiveness and
efficiency of action
The degree of certainty
of the evidence on
which action is taken
Consequentialist Layer
Consequences of the
research for:
 oneself
 the individual
 a particular group of
individuals
 society
Duties + Motives (Intentions)

Tell the truth

Minimise harm

Keep promises

Do most positive good
Concern for Individuals





Respect the needs of
individuals
Respect Autonomy
Respect persons equally
Create autonomy?
The Ethic of Trust?
Flinders
Utilitarian
Deontological
Relational
Ecological
Recruitment
informed
consent
reciprocity
collaboration
cultural
sensitivity
Fieldwork
avoidance of
harm
avoidance of
wrong
avoidance of
imposition
avoidance of
detachment
Reporting
confidentiality
fairness
confirmation
responsive
communication
A quote from Seedhouse……
‘The Ethical Grid is a tool, and nothing more
than that. Like a hammer or screwdriver used
competently, it can make certain tasks easier,
but it cannot direct the tasks, nor can it help
decide which tasks are the most important.
The Grid can enhance deliberation- it can
throw light into unseen corners and can
suggest new avenues of thought – but it is
not a substitute for personal judgement’
(p209)
Advantages




Provides structure and coherence in a
field in which it is lacking
Based on Moral theory
Can be used over time at different
points in the research
Seems to embrace many of the ideas
described elsewhere
Reference

Stutchbury, Kris and Fox, Alison(2009)
'Ethics in educational research:
introducing a methodological tool for
effective ethical analysis', Cambridge
Journal of Education, 39: 4, 489 — 504
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